Niagara Falls, NY – Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center and 1199SEIU Healthcare Workers have once again collaboratively approved a three-year agreement covering more than 680 union healthcare workers, roughly 70% of the medical center’s workforce.
The new agreement includes highly competitive wage increases and benefits including sign-on bonuses ranging from $13,500 for graduate and $25,000 for experienced nurses, and a one-time 2% longevity increase for contract covered employees with 20 plus years of service.
“We are glad to come together and negotiate an agreement that is truly in the best interest of all workers. With new wages, benefits, and sign-on bonuses, NFMMC is a competitive employer who values its employees, thus enabling us to continue delivering high-quality care during a challenging time,” said Tracy Aniolowski, a 22-year Senior Respiratory Therapist at Memorial.
Reached as a result of bargaining by employee and management negotiating committees, the contract takes effect immediately and will expire May 31, 2025. Memorial has been engaged in negotiations with 1199 SEIU since June, and is proud to reach an agreement that truly reflects the value the Medical Center places on its employees.
“We care deeply for our employees, especially after all they went thru to provide the highest level of care for our patients during the pandemic, many putting themselves, and their families in harms way, while showing up for work each and every day to care for others,” said Joseph A. Ruffolo, President & CEO of Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center. “This agreement is an opportunity for Memorial to show the respect, the admiration, and the appreciation we have for our employees, and for the continued partnership we proudly hold with 1199SEIU,” said Ruffolo.
“This is the highest percentage healthcare workers at Niagara Falls have seen in years,” Michele Jerge, RN and 1199SEIU Organizer. “We are proud that we worked together to recognize their dedication and service provide care to the community,” said Jerge.
Under the new 3-year agreement, registered nurses will receive a significant wage increase year 1, followed by a 3% per year increase for years 2 and 3. All other bargaining units will receive a 4.25% rate increase for year 1 followed by 4% per year for the next 2 years.
“The collaboration shown through securing this strong contract makes me proud to be part of the Memorial family for the past 34 years. Investing in retention and recruitment of nursing staff is critical to fostering growth and ensuring sustainability,” said Ann Davis, Emergency Room Registered Nurse at Memorial.
In addition, nurses will now receive a starting rate reflective of their years of experience, and a generous pension increase year over year is included in the new agreement.
“This contract shows respect for the members who have served the hospital and our community for more than 20 years,” said Evelyn Harris, Patient Care Assistant. “You can work as a PCA or continue on to make it a career – and this contract gives our members the opportunity to make healthcare a career,” said Harris.
Other bargaining units included in the agreement are service and maintenance, health home, professional, technical, and licensed practical nurses.
Negotiations were professional, respectful, and reflected a strong, healthy and progressive relationship. Parties were able to successfully negotiate the new contract within 6 sessions, coming to agreement on a contract that is fair to both employee and employer.